Tonight I’ve spent about 1.5 hours working through the included tutorial material that came with the documentation for the Maschine.
The material takes you through the process of loading up samples to the banks (in software) / pads (on the physical controller), adjusting various settings such as grid resolution for quantization and pattern length (in number of bars), and finally how to ‘record’ a sequence using either ‘live recording’ or step sequencing. I haven’t finished the entire tutorial yet so there’s more to come that I cannot speak to yet.
My current impression is that while using the Maschine software for composition (as opposed to running Maschine as a VST), laying down the foundation for a beat / track is easier done in the software, but melody and melodic bass lines are easier to get good using the pads. Also, the pads are very nice for experimenting with various embellishments and off-beat additions, before you either record them or layer them in through the software.
It will be interesting to see if this method is indeed ‘right’ or if there are other ways of working that makes even more sense as I learn more about the HW/SW…